Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: glyco-, gluco-

Heap of Sugar Cubes
Heap of Sugar Cubes. Maximilian Stock Ltd./Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

The prefix (glyco-) means a sugar or refers to a substance that contains a sugar. It is derived from the Greek glukus for sweet. (Gluco-) is a variant of (glyco-) and refers to the sugar glucose.

Words Beginning With: (Gluco-)

Glucoamylase (gluco-amyl-ase): Glucoamylase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates, such as starch, by removing glucose molecules.

Glucocorticoid (gluco-corticoid): Named for their role in glucose metabolism, glucocorticoids are steroid hormones made in the cortex of the adrenal glands. These hormones reduce inflammation and suppress immune system activity. Cortisol is an example of a glucocorticoid.

Glucokinase (gluco-kinase): Glukinase is an enzyme found in liver and pancreas cells that helps to regulate glucose metabolism. It uses energy in the form of ATP for the phosphorylation of glucose.

Glucometer (gluco-meter): This medical device is used to measure blood glucose concentration levels. Individuals with diabetes often use a glucometer to monitor their glucose levels.

Gluconeogenesis (gluco-neo-genesis): The process of producing the sugar glucose from sources other than carbohydrates, such as amino acids and glycerol, is called gluconeogenesis.

Glucophore (gluco-phore): Glucophore refers to the group of atoms in a molecule that give the substance a sweet taste.

Glucosamine (glucos-amine): This amino sugar is a component of many polysaccharides including those that compose chitin (component of animal exoskeletons) and cartilage. Glucosamine is taken as a dietary supplement and is used to treat arthritis symptoms.

Glucose (glucose): This carbohydrate sugar is the major source of energy for the body. It is produced by photosynthesis and found in plant and animal tissues.

Glucosidase (gluco-sid-ase): This enzyme is involved in the break down of glucose storing complex carbohydrates such as glycogen and starch.

Glucotoxicity (gluco-toxic-ity): This condition develops as a result of the toxic effects of consistently high glucose levels in the blood. Glucotoxicity is characterized by decreased insulin production and increased insulin resistance in body cells.

Words Beginning With: (Glyco-)

Glycocalyx (glyco-calyx): This protective outer covering in some prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells is composed of glycoproteins and glycolipids. The glycocalyx may be highly organized forming a capsule around the cell, or it may be less structured forming a slime layer.

Glycogen (glyco-gen): The carbohydrate glycogen is composed of glucose and stored in the liver and muscles of the body. It is converted to glucose when blood glucose levels are low.

Glycogenesis (glyco-genesis): Glycogenesis is the process by which glucose is converted to glycogen in the body when blood glucose levels are high.

Glycogenolysis (glyco-geno-lysis): This metabolic process is the opposite of glycogenesis. In glycogenolysis, glycogen is broken down into glucose when blood glucose levels are low.

Glycol (glycol): Glycol is a sweet, colorless liquid that is used as antifreeze or as a solvent. This organic compound is an alcohol that is poisonous if ingested.

Glycolipid (glyco-lipid): Glycolipids are a class of lipids with one or more carbohydrate sugar groups. Glycolipids are components of the cell membrane.

Glycolysis (glyco-lysis): Glycolysis is a metabolic pathway that involves the splitting of sugars (glucose) for the production of pyruvic acid and the release of energy in the form of ATP. It is the first step of both cellular respiration and fermentation.

Glycometabolism (glyco-metabolism): The metabolism of sugar and other carbohydrates in the body is known as glycometabolism.

Glycopenia (glyco-penia): Also known as glucopenia or hypoglycemia, glycopenia is a condition characterized by glucose deficiency in the blood. Symptoms of this condition include sweating, anxiety, nausea, dizziness, and difficulty speaking and concentrating.

Glycopexis (glyco-pexis): Glycopexis is the process of storing sugar or glycogen in body tissues.

Glycoprotein (glyco-protein): A glycoprotein is a complex protein that is linked to one or more carbohydrate chains. Glycoproteins are assembled in the cell's endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex.

Glycorrhea (glyco-rrhea): Glycorrhea is a discharge of sugar from the body, typically excreted in urine.

Glycosamine (glycos-amine): Also known as glucosamine, this amino sugar is used in the building of connective tissue, exoskeletons, and cell walls.

Glycosemia (glyco-semia): This term refers to the presence of glucose in the blood. It is alternatively known as glycemia.

Glycosome (glyco-some): This organelle is found in some protazoa and contains enzymes involved in glycolysis. The term glycosome also refers to non-organelle, glycogen-storing structures in the liver.

Glycosuria (glycos-uria): Glycosuria is the abnormal presence of sugar, particularly glucose, in the urine. This is often an indicator of diabetes.